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Yolanda hernandez memorial scholarship

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Yolanda Figueroa Figueroa was born on September 6, 1933. Daughter of Rosario Figueroa Camacho and Juan Figueroa Arzola. She was the granddaughter of Bartolo Figueroa Reyes and the great great granddaughter of Jose Ramon Figueroa, who was the founder of the municipality of Villalba, Puerto Rico.


Yolanda, like her mother Rosario, was raised to be a fiercely strong and independent woman for the times. She graduated from the nursing program at Hospital Damas in Ponce, Puerto Rico in 1956. 


Upon relocating to New York City she started her nursing career at St Francis Hospital in the Mott Haven section of The Bronx. The hospital provided free care to all comers regardless of nationality or religion. Yolanda held various positions while at St. Francis, and in spite of the sometimes long hours and challenging situations she absolutely loved being there to help others. 


Her nursing path took her through a wide range of responsibilities and experiences, including leading a methadone rehabilitation center in The Bronx, all of which she took on wholeheartedly with the focus to be of service.  She retired from the position in a nursing home after relocating to Jacksonville Florida.  


Yolanda passed away on July 28th, 2019. The Hernandez Memorial Scholarship has been established in her memory to allow a nursing student to participate in medical missions through Jose’s Hands. Every donation is accepted with love and appreciation and will help nurture the love, selflessness, and caring that are the hallmarks of all medical professionals.


ABOUT the scholarship


You'll travel on a medical mission to an underserved area in a country.  Together with health professionals, you will address medical problems and assist in the care and treatment of patients.  Take pictures and videos, you're going to remember this forever!


You will never forget your first mission trip; we trust that you’ll fall in love with the feeling of helping others so much that you’ll keep serving every year for the rest of your life.  Upon your return, you'll write a 1-page report on your experience that will be shared with the Hernandez family.


Our goal is to have $2,500 per year available to nursing students wanting to participate in their first medical mission. In order to accomplish this goal, we ask that you would consider a monthly donation so that we can anticipate how many students we can support each year.  Thank you!

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Beginning in 2020, the Yolanda Hernandez Memorial Scholarship will serve thousands of families in South America and the Caribbean.



Zara Kazmi Syeda

My name is Syeda Kazmi and I’m currently a first-year student at College of Podiatric Medicine and Surgery, Des Moines University. I completed my Bachelor’s degree in Human Development with a minor in Public Health from UCSD. After that, I got my master’s degree in Biomedical Sciences from University of Nevada School of Medicine. I immigrated to the United States from a war-torn region in the Middle East when I was twelve years old. Thus, I am aware of the health disparities and the need for quality health care in underserved populations. I am grateful to God to be chosen for this medical mission trip and I am excited to be part of a team which provides helping hands to people in need.


Lauren Blue

I'm eternally grateful for my scholarship.  The trip taught me so many life lessons that I didn't even imagine.  Thank you!

Natalie Nieves

Thank you so much for the opportunity to receive your scholarship!  Without it, I wouldn't have considered coming on a trip.  Now I want to make sure all my friends go!  I had the time of my life.



In a fast-moving environment, you’ll be working and learning alongside a doctor also serving on the mission trip.


Expect lots of peds cases, gynecology, dental, derm and internal medicine including small suturing.

Medication prescription

You’ll be diagnosing and prescribing medicine for patients who may never have seen a doctor before.


Jose Jamil Miranda, the nephew of Yolanda Hernandez, was born with an insatiable enthusiasm and a mission to care for others. As a first-year med school student, Jose searched for and found a medical mission to the Amazon. During his mission, Jose was blown away by the feeling of purpose and fulfillment he experienced by serving communities without medications, health education, or doctors. He went on to complete a Masters in Public Health at Harvard and became an orthopedic surgeon and dedicated army officer, who made a mark on people with his big smile. Jose healed with both his hands and his love for his patients. In 2008, Jose suddenly passed away. A few months before his passing, Jose shared a wish with his brother Alex; for the rest of his life, Jose wanted to go on a medical mission every year. Although Jose was not able to live out his wish, his brother Alex vowed to carry Jose’s dream forward and founded this non-profit organization so that many others can carry out the work of Jose’s Hands.

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